Cox18 is one of the most popular squats in Milan and arguably the only one that runs things in a very unbiased way.
Back in the 1970s, Milan was heavily affected by the social and political turmoil of the so-called “Years of lead”. In this context, squats like Cox18 were the home of the countercultures that deconstructed the fabrics of society and offered a different solidarity network. The building situated at 18, via Conchetta was occupied and reclaimed a number of times since 1976, and I feel like Milan is in real need of a venue that brings people together like Cox18 does. Because that’s what “Conchetta” used to do in the first place, being a gathering point for the outsiders in the fast-expanding Italian capital of wealth and fashion.
Whether you’re out with friends to grab a bite and a drink (maybe at Frizzi & Lazzi or Il Brutto Anatroccolo) or in search of an alternative night out, Cox18 will give you a different perspective on Milan’s lifestyle and culture. Look for the tight wooden gate framed by street artist Blu’s graffiti and step into one of Old Milan’s typical courtyards: you will find all sorts of events going on, from readings at the Calusca library and archive, to the vvvery late night punk shows or electronic dj sets.
Cox18 is a consistent point of reference in Milan’s counterculture history. The thought that Cox18’s mission is to offer an alternative space for education and entertainment at the same time really is comforting.